Its two-month-long winning streak finished, Greenbrier now must avoid a losing streak to stay alive.
The Wolfpack split a Monday doubleheader with Whitewater, winning 6-4 and losing 8-5, in the GHSA Class AAAA state semifinals. The deciding game will be played at Greenbrier at 5 p.m. today.
Greenbrier coach Chris Wilkins is optimistic his team can rebound from its first defeat since March 19.
“We didn’t get to this point by laying down and quitting,” he said.
Greenbrier (29-3) had swept its opponent in each of the first three rounds behind the pitching tandem of Jordan Hunt and Austin Robinson. The Region 2-AAAA champions allowed a total of 10 runs in those six games.
Though the Wolfpack used timely hitting and pitching by Hunt to take the opener, the Wildcats’ bats woke up in the fourth inning of the second game.
Down 2-0, Whitewater (26-8) scored six times to take command. The first five hitters reached in the inning, which culminated with Taylor Turner’s two-run blast.
Aided by some costly Greenbrier errors, the Wildcats scored eight runs in the game as Alex Liquori went 5 for 7 with two home runs in the doubleheader. It was enough to hold off charging Greenbrier, which plated two in the seventh but couldn’t extend the game.
In the first game, a Wolfpack batter reached safely on a walk or by getting hit by a pitch a combined eight times to add up scoring chances behind starter Hunt. Spencer Duffie and Hunt led the charge at the plate, with the duo reaching safely on all eight plate appearances.
Hunt’s RBI single in the third gave Greenbrier the lead for good, and Duffie’s RBI knock in the next inning added the first of two insurance runs in the fourth.
On the mound, though Hunt allowed two home runs in a three-batter span, he earned the win in part by twice leaving the bases loaded. He struck out one in the first and got a pop up in the fifth to silence the rally.
But Robinson couldn’t pull off similar escape artistry in the second game. Christian Hill will start for the Wolfpack today.
“If he’s got three, then, gosh, he’s got three,” Wildcats coach Bobby Gatlin said
about Greenbrier’s wealth of pitching.